If you feel somehow “different” after having intercourse, you are not alone. A woman’s body changes after sex, and sometimes those changes can make you wonder what is going on and whether it is normal. The good news is that the body changes during sex you might experience are often quite normal, and no reason at all to be concerned. Here’s what you should expect from that “afterglow” experience.
What Are the Body Changes After Sex?
Yes, there are body changes after sex. These changes can vary from one woman to another, and even from one sex session to another. Many women report feeling very different on a physical level, with significant body changes that can be so prominent to them, they might wonder if others notice it, too. Some women have emotional changes that might then lead to physical sensations that are different from what they have ever known before. Here’s what to expect:
In a physical sense, the act of intercourse changes a woman’s body, especially if she had an orgasm during intimacy. Some women notice firmer or bigger breasts for a time. They might also have more sensitive nipples – in fact, their whole body might be more sensitive or attuned to touch. Sometimes women will begin to retain water or otherwise feel bloated. They might have flushed and red skin or bright, shining eyes.
A woman might also feel very fatigued and tired. Often this can be attributed to not sleeping as well, especially if she has just lost her virginity or is thinking about her partner more often than she used to. On the other hand, it might be due to the body’s physical response to the sexual act.
Keep in mind that if you have had sex for the first time, you might experience a wider multitude of feelings, both physical and emotional ones. Body changes after sex for someone who has just lost their virginity might include soreness, some vaginal bleeding, a sense of being more “alive” than ever before, and the like.
In some cases, a woman’s body will respond in such a way that her period is late, leading to fears about pregnancy. This might include the fact that she is feeling bloated, overly emotional or has pain in her breasts and other soreness in her body. For women who have had unprotected sex – and even for those who have used contraception – the possibility of pregnancy is definitely there. If there are any questions about the physical symptoms, a pregnancy test is a good idea.
It is not unusual to feel all kinds of emotional upheaval after sex. In addition to the body changes after sex, the mental and emotional changes can take a physical toll. If it was your first time, you might feel anything from euphoria to guilt to worry and everything else in between. Even if you have been with your partner for quite some time, each sexual act might be different, and can trigger different emotions in you.
What If You Feel Uncomfortable?
You might feel uncomfortable for a while after sex, especially if it was your first time, or if you had rougher sex than usual. For first timers, the breaking of the hymen will causes bleeding in sex – assuming the hymen was still intact – and can lead to pain and soreness for several days afterward. There is also the soreness of unaccustomed activity, and muscles responding to the new exercise.
If you feel truly uncomfortable after having sex, take good care of yourself. Warm baths, using over the counter pain relief, and taking it easy are all good ideas. If the uncomfortable physical feelings persist, talk to your doctor. This is especially true if you wind up with a rash or other physical signs of allergic reaction, as it might be a response to lubricants, condoms, or even your partner’s semen.
Four Stages of Sexual Response in Women
It helps to remember that there are four distinct stages of sexual response, and each one of them brings its own body changes during and after sex.
Stage 1: Excitement
First is excitement, which begins very quickly after the first touch and escalates for anywhere from minutes to hours. A woman’s vagina becomes lubricated, swollen, and slightly changes shape to allow for easier access for the male. Blood pressure and heartbeat go up, and breathing can become short and strident.
Stage 2: Plateau
The second stage is the plateau, which usually happens when intercourse is well under way. The vaginal lips become puffier, the entrance to the vagina narrows, and the inner labia change color. Changes continue with the breathing and heartbeat, muscles tense up all over the body, and there is often a “sex flush” that looks like blushing, but it happens all over the body.
Stage 3: Orgasm
The third stage is orgasm, which brings a multitude of quick physical changes. The vagina and uterus contract, sometimes quite noticeably to both partners. Breathing and pulse quicken even more. The excitement builds to such a fever pitch that clear thinking at that point might be impossible. Muscle tension reaches a peak, and there might be brief, uncontrollable spasms or movements.
Stage 4: Resolution
The final phase is the resolution, when the body returns to its original state. However, there might be some points that last for a while longer, such as the ability to orgasm, swelling of certain body parts, and the like.
There are other changes that might happen as well, but might not be as noticeable. For instance, your nostrils will flare in response to heavy breathing, and your back might arch involuntarily, bringing you closer to your partner. Your eyes might tear, and your thighs might become tense and even shake. There will probably be a thin layer of perspiration all over your body. All of these things will resolve during the minutes and hours after sex.